Linda Stevens's blog

Short and Sweet

governess affairI'm going to just come right out and admit it -- I am a fan of the novella.  There are some nights I come home tired and simply want to relax and read a book I can finish before I go to bed.  It seems like novellas have been experiencing a boom in popularity lately, particularly in eBook format.  Some are part of a theme, stories based on a holiday or a love of pets, for example.  Some bookend a series, giving a glimpse into the beginning or the end of a story.  Some occupy the same world as a popular series, but completely stand on their own.  So, there's bound to be something to appeal to your reading tastes and limited schedule.

Have Book - Will Travel to a Desert Island

It happened so fast, but we're in the final week of summer reading!  We've all heard a form of this question, but this week we're wondering what book you'd take with you to keep you company while you were stuck on a desert island.  Even though I've had time to think about this, I must admit that I'm still not sure what my book will be this week.  ONE book?  Unfathomable!

Will it be the book that holds my all-time re-reading record, Pride and Prejudice?  Little Women or Ramona the Pest?  Return of the King, so that I can experience closure?  Right Ho, Jeeves, because you would need to laugh, stuck on an island?  The World Book Encyclopedia, so maybe I would learn something?  Would it be cheating to say the entire Harry Potter series?  I've got some thinking to do.

I hope your choice is easier and that you've enjoyed the Amazing Read challenges this summer.  Don't forget to share your experiences and log your books by August 17th to be eligible for prize drawings.  Happy reading!

Don't Miss Out On Summer Reading Fun

sharpie tie dyeThere's still time to sign up for summer reading -- registration runs through Saturday, August 10th!  Prize drawings for each age group will be done on Monday, August 19th, among participants who have completed the program.  Check out the celebrations at your local library this week.  Don't miss out!

  • Babies -- Drawings for Toddler Rkindle paperwhite winnereading Hats at each Branch
  • Children -- Drawings for Plush Traveling Giraffes at each Branch
  • Teens -- Drawings for Book Stuffed Backpacks at each Branch
  • Adults -- Drawings for Amazon Gift Cards at each Branch, plus Grand Prize Drawings

Thanks to Harris County Friends of the Library for funding prize drawings and thanks to all of our summer reading sponsors and partners for their generous contributions!

We Have a Winner at Maud Marks Branch Library

asrp winnerCongratulations to Katie, a reader at the Maud Marks Branch Library!  Katie is the second winner in the eReader drawings for adult Summer Reading participants and is pictured here with her brand new Kindle Paperwhite.  Don't miss your chance to be a drawing winner before the end of summer.  Register for the adult program by Saturday, August 10th and complete the program to be eligible for one of the two grand prize drawings of a Kindle Fire.  Thanks to the Harris County Friends of the Library for their generous donation of prizes for all HCPL Summer Reading programs.

Sailing the Iron Seas

rivetedWhile I'm waiting in line for a copy of Riveted by Meljean Brook, I decided to re-read the first two full length books in the Iron Seas series, The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel.  This created a spectacular episode of binge reading.  I discovered that, in addition to the two titles mentioned, there are several novellas set in this incredibly imaginative world, where the reader will experience recognizable bits of history and Europe paired with airships and zombies and people made up of fantastic mechanical bits.  Of course, I had to read those, too.

We're Having Summer Reading Fun All Over

Not only is it heating up outside, the summer reading fun is heating up in library branches all over Harris County.  We have reading encouragement activities and prizes for signing up and meeting your reading goal, plus we've got fun events of all types happening at your local branch almost every day.  Take a look at your local calendar to see what's happening now.

It could be a pizza making party,           or storytime yoga,

pizza makingstorytime yoga

Have Book - Will Eat, Amazing Read Challenge Week 4

amazing readI can't believe we're already in week four of the Amazing Read.  I hope you've had a chance to keep up, because I'm going to up the ante this week and read two books for the theme, Have Book -- Will Eat.  I'm going to try Anthony Bourdain's book Medium Raw in the nonfiction category and revisit one of my favorite food books of all time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.  My plans also include consuming way too many snacks at the same time, so I'm obviously still not getting Mr. Dahl's point. Maybe this time.

big mouthWhat are you going to read?  Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel?  Big Mouth by Deborah Halverson?  Babies Can't Eat Kimchee! by Nancy Patz and Susan L. Roth?  Bobby Flay's Barbeque Addiction?  We’d love to hear what you’re reading, so consider sharing with us through your Summer Reading Program log, by commenting on this post, or on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge 2013

amazing readWelcome to Summer Reading 2013!  We're continuing our reading challenge this year, encouraging everyone to read a little outside of your comfort zone from week to week.  We'll post a topic each week to go along with our theme this year, Have Book, Will Travel, and ask you to respond by sharing your reading choices through your Summer Reading Program log, comments on the blog post, through Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or in conversation with family and friends.

This week's challenge is simple:  Have Book - Will Travel this Summer.  So, let's read something that has a summer theme.  It could be a beach read, a scary campfire story, a picture book about learning to swim, or a grilling cookbook.  This challenge is for all ages and all reading tastes.  I'm going to read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.  I've listed a few other suggestions for different ages below.  What are you reading?

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

serendipityI knew very early on that I was destined to be a city girl.  I tend to wilt outdoors, I prefer food that isn't cooked by me, and I really like movies that need subtitled translations.  Or maybe it's just that I prefer to remain anonymous when I visit the 7-11 in my pajama pants.  No matter the reason, in contrast to my everyday life, I can't get enough of small towns and villages in fiction.  They provide a warm and cozy vacation to a place with a personality of its own, complete with a variety of colorful characters that form an extended fictional family.  Judging by the popularity of many of these books, I am not alone.

Everything Old is New Again

sunny chandler's returnWith eBooks, that is, not age -- unfortunately.  One benefit I am taking advantage of from the eBook phenomenon is the discovery (or rediscovery, sometimes) of older titles by authors I really enjoy.  Whether it's through their normal publisher, a digital publisher, or self-publishing, many popular authors are now making previously hard-to-find backlist titles available to the eBook crowd. 

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